A bad choice could set back the cause of the Church's renewal even more. A mediocre choice will only ensure that the Church continues to wallow in the current woes. A truly wise, visionary choice will lead the transformation of the Church to ensure its vitality for generations to come.
When my parents enrolled me in a Catholic school in Pakistan, our neighbors expressed a concern: Will my faith be at risk because of attending a Catholic school? As it turns out, the Catholic school taught me the lost Muslim value of grappling with disagreements in a non-threatening way.
When the new pope is announced, attention to the name he chooses will give precious insight into the kinds of things he will seek to appropriate from the past, to emphasize in the present, and to prioritize for the future.
If ever there were a perfect time to clean house in the Church, it is now. For the Church, this symbolic time of repentance could be the time in which the Church re-orients itself to serve a 21st century world.